In March of 2013 Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg’s book titled Lean In – Women, Work and the Will to Lead was released to mixed reviews. Sandberg was swayed by Mark Zuckerberg to leave her executive position at Google and join FB in 2008. Since becoming COO, Sandberg has focused on making the company profitable, which she was able to accomplish in 2010 for the first time in company history. Currently she oversees all aspects of the firm’s operations.
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Lean In was written for women in the corporate world to encourage them to change their thinking regarding their work, careers, and particularly leadership roles. The title (Lean In) is referring to a need for women to start making it their business to run businesses. In her words, “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.” Criticized by many as a feminist manifesto, it does have merit as it applies to current societal norms that still allow for discrimination, sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Throughout the book Sandberg emphasizes the need for women to stop creating barriers by internalizing systematic discrimination and societal gender roles. For there to be equality, these barriers must be broken down by women and men willing to fight for equality. Teen girls must learn to value their abilities and self worth as human beings, capable of doing anything they set their minds to. As barriers are broken, opportunities will open, creating a need for women ready to “lean in” and take on more leadership roles.